Introduction: Microwaveable Sock Creature

About: A Maker of Things, Cat is a recently graduated artist and perpetual student. Learning and creating are her two great passions, closely followed by circus arts and things on fire.
 There's nothing so nice as an already warm bed on a cold night. This little guy will warm your sheets for you if you toss him in the microwave and then into bed a few minutes before you turn in. 

These critters make great gifts for kids and are also wonderful for aches and pains. 

(These instructions can also be used to make a normal sock animal. Just substitute stuffing for organic filler.)

Look too hard? No problem! Try my super-easy Heated Cuddle Budy:

Step 1: Supplies

Since this guy is going to go in the microwave, you want to be sure your materials are appropriate.
Everything going into this project should be able to withstand at least 2.5 minutes in the microwave without any ill effects such as melting, sparking, exploding, or fuming. This means no metallics!! No metallic thread or buttons or pieces of any sort. You may like your sock creatures to have button eyes, but you don’t want anything that could get hot enough to burn you. 

I did a microwave test on my stuffing just to make sure it was microwave friendly.

For organic filling, you can use any sort of grain, such as wheat, oats, or rice. If you use oats, your fleecy friend will smell perpetually of oatmeal. Beans work as well but be careful not to get your buddy wet or he may go to seed.
If I wanted to get super scientific I could do microwave tests to find out the most efficient filling, but unfortunately for you, I’m lazy. I used rice because it’s cheap, easy, and I had heaps of it laying around my house. I’ve always hated oatmeal anyhow. 

The most important item you will need is the socks. You only need one pair unless you're making a crazy, two-headed, multi-limbed alien monster. Your sock creature will look very different depending on what sort of socks you use. Obviously you should choose a color and pattern that you like, but the style of sock also matters. Don't use ankle socks, or you'll have no legs, and don't use knee or thigh-highs unless you want reeeeeeaaaalllly long limbs. If you use socks with a heel, the heel will eventually be the bum, so you want the toe bit and the ankle bit to be of roughly equal lengths. If you use a sock without a heel, such as with toe socks, then you don't have to worry about that. If you do choose tow socks, with some careful planning you can give your creature a toehawk, spines, or even wings!

Step 2: Body & Legs

- Turn socks inside out.

- Place a pin horizontally where you want the legs to end. This is either at the top of the heel or roughly half-way up the sock. 

- Pin your center line. I eyeballed, but feel free to measure if you feel like it. Make sure that the top of the sock is facing you. You can tell this by either the presence of a heel, or by the seam at the toe. 

- Set your needle to the far right position, then sew the legs.
Starting on the right, lock-stitch (go forward a few stitches, then back a few stitches, then forward again) then sew around the right foot and up the left side of the pins.
Lock-stitch then skip over to the right side of the pins without sewing. 
Lock-stitch and sew down the left leg and around the right foot before lock-stitching again. 

- Remove pins and cut up the center line to the crotch, snipping through the thread, but no further. 
- Trim around feet.

- Turn right side out through crotch.

- Stuff a fist-full of stuffing in through the crotch and push it up to the toe. This will be your head. 


- Fill the rest of the body and legs with rice.


- Sew the crotch up using a neat ladder stitch. I sew it twice just to make sure I won't have any leaks. 


Voi'la! Your creature's body is complete.

Step 3: Arms

 - Use the body as a guide and cut the second sock in two.


- Pin, sew, and trim the arms just as you did the legs.

If you want your creature to have a neck, tie a piece of embroidery floss securely around neck between the stuffing and the rice. Don't tie it too tight or his head will loll. Just tight enough to give definition. This will help with placement of the arms.


- Fill arms with rice. Squish the rice down, and fill some more. 


- Close off top of arm to prevent rice spillage. 


-Sew arms to body with a neat ladder stitch starting at the seam. Place the seam in the underarm, sew around and knot off when you get back to the seam. 

Step 4: Tail

- If you're using heeled socks, take this opportunity to cut the heel from the second sock.

- Pin toe section of second sock together and sew a tail shape. 


- Turn right side out and stuff.


- Close off top of tail and sew onto bum using the same method as you used for the arms.


I was unhappy with the tail that I had made (it was lumpy) so I simply emptied it out, turned it inside out again, re-sewed and trimmed to get a shorter, less lumpy tail. 

See... we all make mistakes. 

Step 5: Ears

 -Sew desired ear shapes. Pointy for cats, round for monkeys, long and floppy for dogs, etc. etc. 


-Cut them out and turn right side out.


- Sew again to make a french seam and trim of excess bits.


- Sew ears to head using a neat ladder stitch all the way around. Don't sew through both layers at once, but through each layer individually in order to get your ears to stand upright. 

Step 6: Muzzle

 - Cut a diamond shape out of the remaining sock piece to use as a muzzle (Or use the heel that you cut out previously).


- Start sewing in the center top where you want your muzzle to be. Ladder stitch around in a football shape until you have a half inch left open. 


- Stuff the muzzle with stuffing and sew shut. 


You can use the last of your thread to define the muzzle if you want it to have cat-like features. Simply loop the thread through from bottom to top, pull tight, and knot it off. 


You're done with the foundation, now for the decor. 

Step 7: Face

 - Embroider on a face. I always knot off on the bottom the the muzzle as it's a good hiding place. 


- If you use double thread you can get thicker lines.


If you can't decide what sort of expression you want, sketch the outline of your face and draw a few out to see what they look like. Try out your favorite. If you don't like the face that you've made, simply rip it off and start again. 


The embroidery floss I used was shiny and slippery and devilishly hard to work with, so I recommend a nice, normal, non-florescent embroidery floss. 


And as an added bonus I sewed on a felt heart, just to let you know I care. You can do all or some of your features like this if you want to take the time. It's actually easier to use felt if you want large areas of solid color. 


Step 8: Microwave and Enjoy!!

 And you're done! Stick him in the microwave for 2 minutes and enjoy! 
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